Dr. Khadija Owusu: Empowering The Next Generation Of African Female Leaders

Dr.Khadija Owusu spent her early years in a council flat on the Broadwater Farm Estate in north London’s Tottenham before relocating to Finsbury Park with her family. She was raised by her mother as a single parent, along with her younger brothers. She attended a local comprehensive school until she turned 16years. Growing up, her family faced financial difficulties, which motivated her to become a doctor. Additionally, her brother’s struggle with sickle cell anemia meant that they frequented hospitals, and Khadija observed the dedication of the medical staff in providing care, which further reinforced her desire to become a doctor.

Khadija excelled throughout school and, in March 2012, was invited to the White House by Michelle Obama for an inspirational essay she had written about her mother. There she met with The First Lady over five days to discuss effecting positive change as women, spoke with other Black and ethnic minority women in power, and volunteered with a charity. Returning to the UK, Khadija was determined to achieve her goal of becoming a doctor. ‘That same year, she received the Women in STEM Award, presented by HRH Princess Anne. Khadija also won a full scholarship to Ashbourne College sixth form, where she completed her A Level and secured a medical offer at St George’s, University of London.

In her third year of university, Khadija co-founded Melanin Medics, a registered charity that works to increase the representation of African and Caribbean-descent students within the medical profession. Her Role as Director of Programmes for Melanine Medics is coordinating all outreach work, such as going into state schools with a predominantly Black and ethnic minority population to educate pupils as young as six on careers in Medicine. Over the years, the organization has reached over 4,000 young people and boasts a 91% success rate of supporting anyone who has interacted with them into medical school. They have a combined social reach of over 10,000 followers and are the UK’s largest intergenerational association of black medics.

Right after completing medical school, Dr. Khadija felt compelled to impact the lives of those who need it positively – the young girls back home. This led her to start The Like Her Project in Ghana on June 2021. A school outreach program encourages young girls to ‘Dream, Think and Work Like Her.’ ‘Like Her’ here refers to any phenomenal woman the young girl looks up to.

The growth and success of The Like Her Project inspired Dr. Khadija to think ahead and then officially launch AKAYA, a non-profit organization supporting the personal and professional growth of the next generation of African female leaders by building their confidence and ensuring they reach their full potential. Khadija firmly believes every girl has a story to tell, just like she told hers on TEDx.

Khadija is an inspiration and a change agent with a track record of positive change in her community and country.


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